Pet Peeves: Interview With Globe Travel Writer About Barefoot Plane Passengers


. WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY. HAS IT HAPPENED TO YOU? HAVE YOU BEEN ON A PLANE OR A TRAIN AND YOU LOOK OVER AND YOU SEE YOUR SEATMATE’S BARE FEET OR, WORSE, THEY HAVE THEIR BARE FEET UP ON THE ARMREST OR EVEN BEYOND THAT, TOUCHING YOU. WHICH WOULD BE THE WORST. YES. THIS HAS BECOME AN EPIDEMIC, ENOUGH OF A PHENOMENON THAT “BOSTON GLOBE” WRITER CHRIS MUELLER DECIDED TO TO TACKLE IT IN AN ARTICLE THAT RAN TODAY. WHY DID YOU WANT TO WRITE THIS PIECE? I HAVE TO SAY I WAS ON A FLIGHT SITTING NEXT TO LIAM AND HE TOOK HIS SHOES OFF. NO. I WOULD NOT DO THAT. HE WOULD NOT DO THAT. YOU HAVE TO KNOW, THIS IS AN ISSUE SO PROFOUND TO LIAM, WE TALK ABOUT IT ON A REGULAR BASIS. IT COMES UP NIGHTLY. THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME A FEW TIMES. ONE TIME I WAS SITTING AND I LOOKED OVER AT THE ARMREST AND THERE WAS A FOOT THERE, NOT FULLY ON THE ARMREST, BUT I COULD SEE IT BEHIND, AND I JUST KIND OF — I DID THAT AND THE FOOT DISAPPEARED. I THINK WHAT REALLY PROMPTED IT, THOUGH, WAS THERE WAS A VIDEO THAT SURFACED THIS SUMMER OF A MAN SITTING ON A PLANE SCROLLING THROUGH THE IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SCREEN WITH HIS FOOT. YES. THAT WAS SHOCKING. I THINK I SAID THIS IN THE PIECE. YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW WE’RE A DIVIDED NATION, BUT WHAT REALLY BROUGHT US TOGETHER WAS OUR DISLIKE OF SEEING THAT MAN’S FOOT ON A VIDEO SCREEN. THAT’S TRUE. IT USED TO BE THAT PEOPLE — PAULA WAS SAYING THIS TO ME EARLIER TODAY. PEOPLE USED TO DRESS UP TO TRAVEL. I FEEL THAT EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAS GOTTEN MORE CASUAL. PEOPLE DON’T DRESS UP FOR CHURCH ANYMORE. AT WORK IT’S OFTEN MORE CASUAL NOW, CERTAINLY ON A PLANE. BUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED THAT SOMEONE DECIDES, OH, I’M GOING TO TAKE MY SHOE OFF AND THEN MY SOCK. HAVE YOU NOTICED? HAS IT BEEN AN INCREASE? I FEEL LIKE IT’S BEEN AN INCREASE AND I FEEL THERE ARE TWO FACTORS AT PLAY. CLEARLY I’VE THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT THIS. YES. ONE IS PEOPLE ARE FEELING MORE CONFINED AS THE AMOUNT OF SPACE GETS SQUEEZED IN AIRPLANES. SO HE THEY’RE FEELING MORE I WANT TO BE AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE. SO THEY’RE NOT REALLY THINKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE. THEY’RE THINKING ABOUT THEIR FEET OR THEY’RE THINKING OF, LIKE, HOW THEY CAN WEAR SWEAT PANTS OR PAJAMA BOTTOMS ON A PLANE. THESE ARE SOME OF MY OTHER PET PEEVES. THEY’RE CRAMPED AND THEY WANT TO BE AS FREE AS POSSIBLE. WHAT IS YOUR ABSOLUTE WORST STORY, THE WORST THING YOU’VE PERSONALLY EVER SEEN? OH, THE STORIES I COULD TELL THE TWO OF YOU. BUT I HAVE HAD THE FEET SORT OF RIGHT ABOVE ME. OH, GEEZ. SO I HAVE FELT SOMETHING, LIKE, AT THE VERY TOP OF MY HEAD. OH, WOW. AND THEN SORT OF LOOKED BACK OR LOOKED UP AND I’VE SEEN TOES. OH, MAN. OH, BOY. YOU KNOW, IN SITUATIONS LIKE THAT, OFTENTIMES YOU FREEZE. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE ON HOW TO HANDLE IT? BECAUSE YOU SAY IN THE PIECE, IN THE “BOSTON GLOBE,” YOU GIVE A WITHERING SIDE LOOK, A CLASSIC NEW ENGLAND WITHERING SIDE LOOK. YES. I WOULD — I WOULD BE HARD-PRESSED NOT TO SAY SOMETHING TO THE PERSON THAT HAS IT ABOVE MY HEAD, FRANKLY. YOU MIGHT HAVE A PUBLIC INCIDENT. I’M NOT SURE HOW TO HANDLE IT. I SHOULD FACE THIS NOW BEFORE IT HAPPENS. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE AS TO HOW TO HANDLE IT. I THINK FIRST KIND OF TALK TO THE PERSON, KIND OF PUT THEM AT EASE, JOKE AROUND ABOUT IT AS BEST YOU CAN. WE’RE GOING TO SAY THIS IS BEST-CASE SCENARIO. LET’S SAY YOU’RE SITTING NEXT TO SOMEONE AND HE OR SHE HAS TAKEN THEIR SHOES OFF AND THEY’VE DECIDED TO SORT OF SPREAD OUT AND YOU’RE KIND OF GROSSED OUT BY IT. YOU CAN SAY IT’S AMAZING HOW CRAMPED THESE PLANES ARE THESE DAYS, HA, HA, HA. CALL ATTENTION TO IT. EXACTLY. AND THEN THINK, OH, RIGHT, THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING. OR IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE WHOSE FOOT — I TALKED ABOUT IT IN THE STORY, A WOMAN HAD A ROW TO HERSELF AND THERE WAS A PAIR OF FEET THAT CAME DOWN ON EITHER SIDE OF HER AND THEN PULLED UP THE SHADE WITH HER — ANYWAY, SOMETHING TO THAT LEVEL I THINK SOMETIMES PEOPLE AREN’T AWARE, JUST TO TURN AROUND AND SAY, YOU KNOW, I’M SORRY. DO YOU MIND JUST — YEAH. AND THEY’RE FINE WITH IT. USUALLY THEY’RE EMBARRASSED. DO YOU THINK THE AIRLINES SHOULD, SAY, WORK IT INTO THE SAFETY SPEECH AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FLIGHT AND SAY IT’S REALLY NOT HYGENIC? I THINK THEY SHOULD. I THINK THEY SHOULD. THERE’S A WOMAN WHO RUNS AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT CALLED PASSENGER SHAMING WHICH IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES TO GO AND GET GROSSED OUT ABOUT AIRPLANES. AND ON APRIL FOOL’S DAY, SHE PUT UP A POST THAT WAS A JOKE SAYING TSA NOW TO CHARGE $150 FOR PEOPLE NOT WEARING SHOES. SO I HONESTLY FEEL LIKE IT COULD BE INCORPORATED INTO SOME KIND OF DRESS CODE BECAUSE THERE ARE DRESS CODES ON AIRPLANES. I KNOW WE’RE HARD-PRESSED TO SEE IT, BUT IF SOMEONE IS WEARING SOMETHING OFFENSIVE, IF SOMEONE IS WEARING SOMETHING THAT’S DEEMED INAPPROPRIATE, WHY NOT THROW FEET INTO THE MIX. I AGREE. YOU COULD START THE PETITION. AND THEY SHOULD HAVE TO FOOT THE BILL. THEY SHOULD HAVE TO DO THAT AS WELL. DON’T BE A HEEL. IT’S BEEN A LOT OF FUN. GO READ THE PIECE. IT’S

2 thoughts on “Pet Peeves: Interview With Globe Travel Writer About Barefoot Plane Passengers”

  1. Ugh if you can’t walk around at a wedding barefoot without having someone chasing you off the dance floor at a venu ,then why would you think you could on a plane?

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